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Food and Textiles

At Dame Alice Owen’s School we have a very vibrant and creative Food and Textiles Department with the emphasis firmly on developing practical skills.

At KS3, students study Textile Design and Food and Nutrition for half of the school year each, in years 7, 8 and 9. There are also a number of exciting options which enable students to continue with the subjects at KS4 and KS5. We have a number of food and textiles clubs which run throughout the year. These include knitting club, fashion club, KS3 textiles club and a number of lunch and after school sessions and coursework clubs for upper school students in both Food and Textiles.

We also run an annual ‘Great Owens Bake Off’ competition in the summer term, which gives students the opportunity to show off their baking talents.

Food and Nutrition

At KS3, students will make a broad range of sweet and savoury recipes with practical lessons taking place at least every other week. The basic principles of nutrition and healthy eating also play a key part in the teaching of this subject.

Topics covered
Year 7 Nutrition, the Eatwell guide, food hygiene, practical food activities (basic skills)
Year 8 Food waste, sustainability, practical food activities (moderate skills)
Year 9 Foods from around the world, food choice, product development, practical food activities (advanced skills)

GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition

The new AQA Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE is an exciting and creative course which focuses on practical cooking skills to ensure students develop a thorough understanding of nutrition, food provenance and the working characteristics of food materials. At its heart, this qualification focuses on nurturing students’ practical cookery skills to give them a strong understanding of nutrition over the course of two years.

Assessment is by a Non-exam assessment (NEA, undertaken in year 11) which forms 50% of the marks, the remaining 50% will be by a one hour 45 minutes written examination.
Link to the AQA Food Preparation and Nutrition homepage –

Textile Design

At KS3, a creative approach is taken to explore and experiment with textile techniques and materials. Textile Design equips students with the skills to enjoy, produce and engage with visual art and design throughout their lives. At the end of KS3 students will have the skills, knowledge and understanding needed for studying the subject at GCSE.

Topics covered
Year 7 Fabric decoration, embroidery, basic sewing machine skills, responding to the work of textiles artists, African textiles, practical activities leading to a finished cushion and bag
Year 8 Ocean plastics, recycling, sustainability, improved sewing machine skills applique, fabric decoration, responding to the work of textiles artists, practical activities leading to a finished recycled bag
Year 9 Fast fashion, sustainability and the fashion industry, fashion design, responding to the work of fashion designers, more advanced sewing machine skills practical activities leading to a fashion hoodie

GCSE Textiles Design

Students will study the subject through the AQA Textile Design route and develop skills in the design and creation of clothing and fashion for creative and commercial audiences, clients and consumers. The course content covers the following topic areas: fashion design techniques, materials and tools such as pattern cutting, adornment, accessories and illustration on fabrics and garments with consideration of sustainable materials, recycling and ethical manufacture. The GCSE will also allow students the opportunity to work in the companion fields of stitched, embellished and printed textiles, for use in creative and commercial industries such as fashion, costume and interiors.

The AQA GCSE (9–1) Textiles Design consists of two internally assessed and externally moderated components:

Component 1: Personal Portfolio (internally set) (60% of GCSE)

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment (40% of GCSE) 10 hour practical exam

A Level Fashion and Textile Design

The textile design course offers the opportunity to develop skills over a broad range of textile and fashion techniques and applications such as printing, weaving, knitting, embellishment and digital applications. Students at Dame Alice Owens school usually favour a product focussed Fashion Design route when conducting their personal investigation and examination units. However, students with an interest in other aspects of Textile Design are free to explore all areas of interest.
At A-level in component 1 students will develop work for a personal investigation into an idea, issue, concept or theme supported by written material. This will count for 60% of the total A-level marks. In component 2 students will produce personal work in response to an Externally Set Assignment which will count for 40% of the total A-level marks.


Ms C Cerny (Head of Food and Textiles)